High Court gives decision in Interflora v M&S trade mark dispute

23-05-2013 15:36

On 21 May 2013, the High Court handed down its long awaited judgment in the Interflora v Marks and  Spencer  trade mark infringement case.

In short, M&S purchased the term INTERFLORA on the Google AdWord programme which meant that if a consumer typed that term into Google, one of the links that was returned in the list of search results was for M&S’ flower delivery service.  The term INTERFLORA did not appear in the link or advert itself.  The High Court has held that M&S’ use of the word INTERFLORA as an advertising keyword wrongly led consumers to the view that M&S’ flower delivery service is connected to Interflora’s business and therefore infringed its trade mark.  The case, which began in 2008, had been referred to the European Court of Justice as it involved important questions under European Law from which the UK’s trade mark law is derived.   

We will be commenting on this case in more detail in one of our future newsletters in the future but if you would like more information in the meantime, please contact Emma Hayward in our Intellectual Property department.

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